Welcome to RETINA


REal-Time support Infrastructure and Energy management for Intelligent carbon-Neutral smArt cities

The growth of the urban population progresses relentlessly, with the U.N. projecting that, by 2050, 68% of the world population will live in urban areas (against the current 55%). The concept of Smart Cities encompasses a collection of applications and services meant to improve the overall efficiency of the city’s processes, and ultimately the well-being of the citizens. Such services can only be offered by a large support infrastructure, built to a large extent on top of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). In the effort of developing city processes that are neutral on its climate impact, the energy system is a key player towards environmental and economic sustainability. Renewable generation, energy transactions, energy service provision, and electric vehicles ensured and managed at the local level further add to the range of opportunities on how the available energy resources and assets in the city may be managed to meet the user needs. To attain an energy management that aims for neutral-impact operation, energy management models and systems need to be paired with ICT.

The RETINA project will address aspects of Support Infrastructure for Smart City (SISC) applications, both at the level of enabling technologies as well as on selected smart city applications. RETINA will push forward the state-of-the-art on high-performance communication networks and computing devices that compose the infrastructure over which such smart city services are built. Leveraging on such advances, we will integrate such technologies into two mobility-related smart city use cases, namely ICT architectures to provide vehicular cooperative services, e.g. coordination protocols for safer and efficient-energy vehicle management in intersections and platoons, and communication security among and/or provided by UAVs.

Another aspect in Smart Cities that must be taken into account is the energy management and use. The power and energy system is moving to a decentralized system where all final customers can, and should, participate to enable the balance among demand and generation at the lowest possible costs and avoiding negative environmental impact. This balance is of significant importance to enable the intensive integration of distributed renewable energy sources, that will result in the decarbonization of the electrical grid. At European level, the Directive (EU) 2019/944, of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019, recognizes citizen energy communities as part of the short-term plan for power and energy systems. This enables the creation of smaller communities that are able to manage their own energy and promote net zero communities. These communities can, and should, be applied in smart cities.

The RETINA project introduces the concept of Urban Citizen Energy Communities (UCEC) which are seen as very relevant building blocks of smart cities for which the use of intelligent advanced models will have a huge positive impact on the city’s environmental and economic sustainability. Empowering consumers and other small and medium energy players require intelligent and distributed decision-making and automated actions that must be based on artificial intelligence, by strategic use of data-driven and knowledge-based approaches. RETINA will represent a significant step forward in this direction by conceiving new energy management models for urban citizen energy communities taking into consideration the particularities of urban consumers (e.g., usage of vertical construction), the active participation of consumers, the massive penetration of electric vehicles, and the local energy markets.